Lights, Camera , Action!

My good friend and I are at the Joyce Meyers conference this weekend. It has been a great joy to be involved with wonderful praise and worship with others and to hear a speaker that has blessed my walk greatly over the years. MUCH word has been shared, along with the grace of Jesus. The title this week was ” I am okay, and I am on my way. This sums up my life over the last year, regardless, of each situation, I AM okay, and I am on my way to the greatness in store for me.

Well, I did not put two and two together, but at Joyce Meyers conferences, there is a BIG camera on a boom that looks over the audience, because her conferences are then televised. I did not mind the big camera too much, even though there are rumors that cameras add ten pounds. For the most part I forgot the camera all together, but I would look at that camera if I wanted to itch my nose or shift in my seat or something completely embarrassing to make sure it wasn’t pointed at me, and forgot it the rest of the time.

Then at the end of the evening after shifting, scratching my nose and making ‘modest’ lady like adjustments, I look over and right on me is a small camera that the whole time was moving all over the audience and I didn’t see it! It was right on me as I was making some adjustments….So let me say right now, Joyce Meyers, if you find this awkward looking dark haired thirty something year old, looking down to make sure I was covered and  adjusting my shirt, yah, well, it could have been me! 

This moment made me laugh at myself, as embarrassing moments often do, and I realized, I had my eye on the ‘big’ camera, often like I do in life, I have my eye on the ‘big’ picture.

So much so that when I have a vision or a dream and I want to succeed, I may get discouraged, looking at that BIG picture and it not happening as quickly as I want it to. Or when the BIG problems mount up for a moment they are all I see. So focused am I on the big thing, that I miss all the little spectacular things going on around me day by day. There are many good things that I should be thinking on. 

I must take time to see ALL the work about me that He has done. All the moments that I CAN rejoice. Even if I have not reached my destination and obstacles come in my way over and over, He is always at work and doing great things in my life.

Sometimes those ‘little’ things turn out to be even more significant in reaching the dream He placed in us anyway. That ‘little’ camera may be the one that captures my laughter and joy in the teaching rather than the BIG camera. It is important we do not get so focused on our obtaining that which is in our heart, that we ‘miss’ the other good stuff. In this case I am not quite sure if the cameras captured my smiles and pure joy or my awkward moments, but it doesn’t matter, He is GOOD no matter what the focus was 🙂

 

Challenge this day my friends: Don’t get lost in your moments with tunnel vision only seeing the dream, the good or the bad, but instead be observant seeing ALL that He has done. For HE IS GOOD!!!

 

Philippians 4:8-

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Social Media Can Be A Social Disaster

Let me be very clear that I for one am thankful for the re-connections that Facebook and Twitter have provided.

I was able to find high school friends that I have lost contact with, previous coworkers I adored, past church connections and find family members that I did not even know.

One of my best friends in the whole wide world, is 1445 miles away from me and we often rely on Facebook and modern-day technology to keep up with one another. We are so thankful that gone are the days of snail mail, where we waited weeks in between letters for over ten years.

I do not read just her updates on social media though. I stop in and say hi, we talk, chat and send encouraging notes.  Even though these connections are nice, I absolutely look forward to the day I will get to hold that girl in my arms for a good old-fashioned bear hug again! There is nothing like real connection with your friends. But for now I rely on Facebook and I am thankful that it is here.

I do however, have one very large complaint about Social Media. I often find that when I post my updates, some of my good friends have felt, knowing how I am doing is good enough. Since starting these profiles and putting up my updates, the texts have slowed down and the opportunities to get together with certain friends, rarely come. From some friends that I was once close to, I have even been told, ‘well, I see how you are doing on Facebook.”

I find that over sharing has left some of those close friends, contacting me less than the days when my updates were not at the finger tips.

I don’t mind in this season, having the quiet, being the hermit that I am. But I am left thinking on the idea though, that I have to make an effort to reach out to others that may not be as blessed in the quiet as I am. If I noticed a difference, surely others have.

There are people I know, that having their few friends drop off , can leave them extremely desperate for relationship.

Even though I am a share a lot personality, that is just me, the little bit that others share may be ALL that they share.  I have to be aware  that even if I see how someone is doing, they may like a note or a personal stop in and say hi, or drop an encouragement. Just because I know how someone is, doesn’t mean I am off the hook to be a friend.  Some people need more of a connect than a status update. Some people need a real hug, or an actual invite from a friend for coffee. In my day-to-day life, it is hard for me to reach out like that, but I must make more of an effort.

I have become more aware that Facebook can be harmful because friends have brought their hurts to me in love.

I have hurt some feelings without meaning to, or offended on Facebook by comments that have been misunderstood or judged quickly. I have been on the receiving end of harsh feelings because I have gotten together with someone who another does not like, or because my status has been misunderstood. I find that there can be a lot of drama in life anyway, if we allow it, Facebook can be a wildfire of opportunity spreading it out of control. I am thankful for solid truthful friends that we can share feelings and truths in love and not walk away damaged but strengthened.

There is a reason we are called to not be easily offended. You can not walk in joy if you are walking around offended all the time. There is a reason we are called to be a friend, we have hearts to minister to.

I think Facebook can be a great tool to connect. But I think we need to not set our heart on it. Invest in relationships outside of the social networks. I like to put up quips to journal or pictures of fun things we have done, for fun. I also love when things get gray around here to check in with a friend and see their little ones smiling faces or share a funny. I look at the stories of my friends and feel connected when life gets busy and my house is loud. I am aware that they do not always have the time to call and tell me how that appointment went but on a social network they can let many know all at once.  Life is too short to sweat the small stuff and there are too many friends to find.

There is a reason that Jesus had close confidants and walked with his disciples. It is important to walk side by side with others. I often forget to make that effort in the flesh, one on one, today I remind myself.

Challenge this day my friend: Evaluate if you have truly connected with someone lately. Has there been a moment someone has been on your heart and knowing how they are doing has been good enough for you? Take that extra step and be a blessing! If someone is on your heart, there is a reason and you have work to do, it is not a call to just see how they are doing on their status update  🙂

Romans 12:10-

 Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.


God shoes

I was reading past posts on an old blog site when I came across a blog that reminded me HOW MUCH my Lord cares for me and every detail of my person. He created me uniquely and I am only called to do that which he has before me.
( From my old blog site ) I am a worshiper at heart. You could never remove my awe and attachment to the Lord. I am in utter adoration of His awesomeness. I had begun expressing worship to Him in dance timidly; a tap here, a clap there.
Now hands in the air, spinning, jumping, feet moving in pure joy I understand the complete unabashed freedom in worshiping the Lord as David. However I try to stay fully clothed only the shoes coming off on the very wild occasions unlike David who danced naked in the streets.
This brings me the importance to my special shoes the Lord hand crafted for me to have.
One night I had a dream, in this dream God called me to dance and I had on special shoes. They were unique and so vivid in my dream I wanted those shoes when I woke up.
Alas these were not shoes I had ever seen before or could pick up at the local shoe store.
That very day my mother in law and I went shopping in the downtown stores. When I entered the clearance section of  a store I had never entered before, there were THE shoes. Now pay attention to this, they were not similar shoes, they were identical. They were unique, never like anything I had seen besides my dream and there was only ONE pair on the shelf and in MY size. They were ballet type flats, teal, with shiny sequences on them. They were the very same shoe as my dream and I had the exact cash for them from Red Berry Boutique.
I do not wear these shoes often even though I love the uniqueness of them and that the Lord revealed them to me before I ever laid eyes on them. I do not want to ruin them.
But in finding these shoes when I wasn’t really even looking, God was doing something in me. Showing me that I am valued, that I am loved, that He recognizes my heart for worship and is calling me to dance. It was like a physical, hand-picked gift from God.
Since this time I have been told many times to dance for the Lord as I struggle in life issues. The joy always bubbles forth as I take the time and worship the Lord in this way.
Fullness of joy is His plan for our lives and dancing is a tool that I intend to use. I will not worry about opinion of man, or how foolish I may look. I will dance, and I will sing and I will be thankful for the shoes the Lord has placed on my feet, stepping in to my position as His worshiper.
As I read thold blog;  I was reminded today that God can reach His children personally. He desires the relationship with us and has things for us as individuals. We don’t have to ‘work’ for our relationship with Him. We only have to trust and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal savior. Like any relationship it will grow as you spend time with Him. He cares about every detail, even the little things!
How He loves us is not measurable by mere words. It is simply GOD. He wants us to wear the shoes He has for us and for us to walk boldly in His path! Confident that HE has equipped us!
Challenge this day friend: Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you in new ways. Do not be so wrapped up in the events of your day and the world around us that we forget to spend time with the one that created and loves us! Place your feet in your GOD shoes and pursue His passions for you.
Psalm 42:1-
As the deer pants for the water brook, so my soul pants after you, God
(World English Bible)

Get Equipped and Stay Equipped

 

  I am a double sided coin when it comes to conflict in my life.

  If I care enough about something or someone I am all in, all the way, going to fight to the end. This woman can be a roaring lion if I am protecting those I love.

 On the other spectrum, if I feel something is not worth the wasted energy or if it feels to heavy to handle and the conflict is concerning me,  I will run and not face it. I find that I am willing to fight no holds bar when another person or issue is being attacked that I care for, but rarely if I am the one being attacked or hurt will I fight.

God has taught me that I need to be equipped to fight this illness, to fight the targets coming against my thoughts, to fight for my relationships, to fight for my finances, to FIGHT and  not lay down and be trampled over. Just because humans are not attacking me, does not mean there is not a battle going on. I need to be prepared to face it. I need to be able to say, I AM WORTH it and the victory is already mine..

 I become better equipped as I spend time praying, worshiping and praising, and reading his word. I equipped myself with the armor of God as a teenager and there are times I have neglected that armor or not used it for it’s purpose. God gives His children everything they need to equip themselves for each day. We just need to apply those pieces of equipment to areas of our lives. 

A soldier going into battle without his weapon will not fair well. I will not fair well if I try to fight fatigue and illness by only applying part of my tools instead of all of them. I can conquer the broken relationships if I have the mind of Christ and not a heart of fear. I can mend broken pieces if I love rather than run.

There is a place and time when you do not let yourself be bowled over and stomped on. It is important to handle those moments in a healthful way rather than a destructive way.

In order to walk in fullness of joy, I firmly believe we need to grasp that we HAVE and the tools to obtain it have already been supplied!

Challenge this day my friends: It is time to equip ourselves and stay equipped. I have not found a scripture yet, that tells us to lay down the armor of God. Or to run from the things that you fear or want to just lie down and give up on. 

Ephesians 6:11-18

Put on the FULL armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

For our struggles are not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark worlds and against the forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the whole armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything to stand.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled to your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

In addition to all this take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.

And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

(NIV)

 

Seasons

When my boys were ages seven, six and four; I began wanting to be a foster parent or adopt and I just knew that it would happen.  I shared this insight with my husband and he practically laughed and gently tried to remind me there was a reason we stopped with  three. Mind you this was a season when my OCD son was not diagnosed and struggling daily with his moods, I was stressed trying to home school and keep the house and run my in home childcare.  But all I knew was, I desired to add more children to our mix and this desire was deep.

For years I kept this desire hidden in my heart and prayed for my husband to change his mind, but my husband was not in agreement and we didn’t even look into it. I fully believe before you choose to adopt both parents need to be completely on board. So after more than five years of pleading with God to change my husbands heart, I finally prayed, “God if this desire is not you please take it away!”

The next week after my heartfelt cry to the Lord, my husband tells me he desires to adopt. I had waited for years, and finally he was ready too. I was certain we would be adopting within months but no longer than a couple of years, because I had desired this for so long.

We started fund-raising and sharing our heart with others and then circumstances came smashing us in the face. A birth mother that offered me her child, shared ultrasound pictures with me and listened to me for hours share my dreams for him and knew that I was preparing my home had changed her mind upon seeing him. I was ready to fly out and get him and she called when he was three days old and says, “Don’t come, I can’t bear to give him up now”. Of course I understood her heart but I was crushed.

Then, the adoption agency we were ging through and spent some of our fundraising money on, closed. What was left of the fundraising, someone stole from us.

I was diagnosed with an illness, husband got a huge pay cut, we lost medical insurance and life seemed to get get crazier and crazier. But still the desire of adopting has never gone away.

I could easily say, “I am getting older it is time to put the dream to rest.”  Or, ” My children are almost grown and I don’t want to start over now.”

But what I have learned through this experience is,  sometimes desires and dreams do not happen overnight. Sometimes you are tried and tested and the season to harvest takes it’s time to reach.

It is important my friend to not get discouraged when you have something you know is  on your heart for a reason. Rest in the fact that it will be achieved in the right timing. I have decided I will not give up on this dream. I will not be discouraged for I know that there is a specific, perfect time for everything to fall into place. There is a right season.

Challenge this day my friend: Do not allow the growing season to discourage you from your harvest. Do not give up hope of a dream because you have not seen your results yet. Mostly please, do not give into despair! If your heart begins to change, seek the Lord and make sure He is doing the changing instead of you giving up.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

King James translation

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